Businesses need to get their identity, authentication and access management right to ensure their operations run smoothly. Richard Marr, Regional Director, APAC, Auth0, explains how businesses can outsource their CIAM strategy.
With the increase in digitization and remote workforces across APAC businesses due to the widespread impact of COVID-19, the conversation around Customer Identity and Access Management (CIAM) is more timely than ever. Nearly every business affected by the shift handles personal data and has staff accessing resources remotely. This becomes even more complex as the number of platforms, devices and user interfaces continue to grow exponentially, bringing with them a number of headline grabbing data breaches.
CIAM and its core elements of authentication and authorization have been around for a while. However, technologies like cloud computing, mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT) that allow data and company systems to be accessible from anywhere, mean that organizations are facing increasing numbers of requests for access to content and resources. This brings challenges from a scaling point of view, but also from a customer experience perspective, as they expect the same experience and level of authentication across every platform.
Outsourcing identity management to cloud CIAM vendors helps organizations initiate, capture, record and manage user identities and their access permissions, without having to keep an army of specialist engineers in house 24/7. This not only saves time and resources, but most crucially gives businesses an easier way to gather and use data to make smarter business decisions, alongside providing greater personalization for the content it provides individual users.
To keep up with the pace of rapid transformation, along with technological and regulatory change and the security requirements that come with it, organizations need to get their cloud CIAM strategy right from the get-go. A cloud CIAM strategy means that the development of identity and access management solutions can be outsourced to the right Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) vendor, saving money, time and resources.
Security at the core of your business and focus on Value Adding features
At the center of your security strategy lies a fundamental contradiction – hackers are experts in security but your app developers might not be. As not all developers are trained in writing security code for identity, there is no need to reinvent the wheel. Organizations need to ensure they provide their developers with the right platform and toolkit with prebuilt logins and integrations, saving the time and resources needed to build coding identity logic directly into each application. Developers can then focus on building innovative, user-facing applications that drive customer conversion rates, without being distracted with authentication and security concerns. In addition, as the fierce competition in most industries has made time-to-market one of the most important challenges for any Digital Transformation project, outsourcing the identity element of the project can accelerate the time-to-market cycle and help businesses get a competitive edge.
Elevating the digital customer experience as online consumption surges
The shift online during the crisis-induced restrictions has also seen an emergence of new online consumers with little to no digital experience. Research from Kantar, studying the impact of COVID-19 on the Asian consumers’ perceptions and behaviors, found a 32% increase in online shopping across the region.
As a company responding to the needs of consumers during a crisis, ensuring a seamless, convenient online experience with limited friction points can make the experience more human and reassuring.
While the login functionality is only one cog in the wheel of the digital experience, it’s unavoidable, has a huge impact on customer experience (CX) and cybersecurity and takes a lot of investment to get it right.
Using social media logins is one way to avoid your customers’ needing to remember another email/password combo, in turn making your service easier and more appealing. Unique SMS or email codes, also known as One Time Passwords (OTPs) is another way to eliminate the need for recall.
Biometrics, such as fingerprint scanning and facial recognition, are also on the rise and offer a frictionless and secure experience for the end-user.
The right identity management vendor can introduce solutions to address the pivotal customer experience and help businesses acquire and retain customers.
Universality means converging platforms
As businesses grow, they find themselves adding more use cases that require identity functionality to their portfolio. Choosing ‘best-of-breed’ vendors that specialize in one or a limited number of use cases, be that Business-to-Employees (B2E), Business-to-Business (B2B) or Business-to-Consumers (B2C), can be counterproductive and very expensive as businesses can end up with a matrix of siloed identity management platforms. Instead, a universal use case-agnostic platform can untie developers’ and IT ops’ hands and provide scalability and technical flexibility. By working with a single solution that gives developers the tools to create adaptable rules and extensions, depending on the individual use cases, businesses can achieve cost-efficiencies today and future-proof for what comes down the line.
Mind the evolving regulatory standards gap
Organizations see data and security standards as regulatory minefields where the wrong step can often lead to a spectacular and costly blow up. Things get even more complicated for businesses that operate across the APAC region, where legal and regulatory frameworks differ and they need to redesign their technical platforms to be compliant. Businesses can overcome the challenges that the changing standards and regulations pose by working with an IDaaS vendor that provides both a standards-based and certification-based platform, with the former helping team collaboration and the latter ensuring adherence to regulations.
As identity management will be provided as a service, the IDaaS vendor is responsible for ensuring that the platform is compliant with specific standards and regulations, taking this off the organization’s plate. Any further changes or updates are automatically incorporated in the platform without the business having to lift a finger, giving reassurance that the organization’s operations are compliant at all times.
The right IDaaS partner can bring peace of mind
Identity, authentication and access management are critical elements of business operations, particularly as organizations accelerate their Digital Transformation to keep pace with the new normal. Getting them right from the outset can be a make or break deal. But the good news is that although every business is now a software business, it does not need to be an identity management business. By outsourcing its CIAM strategy, businesses can reap all the benefits of data protection and security compliance, without spending a fortune to keep it in-house. In this way, they can focus on what matters the most – optimizing and personalizing user experience and increasing customer conversion rates.Click below to share this article